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Crucial Fact

  • Her favourite word was heard.

Last in Parliament March 2011, as Liberal MP for Winnipeg South Centre (Manitoba)

Lost her last election, in 2011, with 37% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Petitions March 25th, 2011

Madam Speaker, I pleased to present a series of petitions calling upon the Government of Canada to support Bill C-439, An Act to amend the Hazardous Products Act (products made with dog or cat fur), and ban products made with dog or cat fur from entering Canada.

This reflects a small portion of the representations made. We have had many thousands of postcards on this issue.

Ethics March 24th, 2011

Mr. Speaker, this is about the Prime Minister's judgment.

How does a man like that get put in charge of drafting government legislation? How does a disbarred lawyer, who served time in jail and was being chased by Revenue Canada, get the highest security clearance? Why did all of those ministers or their officials meet with him when they knew Bruce Carson was banned from lobbying?

We now learn that his son, Craig Carson, was a senior ministerial adviser to Jim Prentice and even to the current House leader. Did he have any role in setting up these—

Ethics March 24th, 2011

Mr. Speaker, Bill S-11 is the Conservative plan that would grant power to the Indian Affairs minister to impose drinking water systems on first nations bands. Bruce Carson was responsible in the PMO for aboriginal policy and, as legislative director, he helped develop Bill S-11.

Could the government confirm that the bill was key to his plan to skim off his $80 million share of the $1.6 billion pot of money that was destined to help desperate aboriginal communities?

Jewish Refugees March 22nd, 2011

Mr. Speaker, today I rise to acknowledge an issue that has not been discussed much in this House or by the current government: the plight of Jewish refugees from Arab lands, not only the forgotten exodus but also the forced exodus.

Following the United Nations partition resolution of November 29, 1947, and over the following decades, approximately 850,000 Jews were uprooted and displaced from Arab countries.

In 1945, there were around 900,000 Jews living in the Arab world. Today, there are fewer than 8,000.

It has been documented that state-sanctioned repression and persecution in Arab countries targeted Jewish populations and led to the anti-Jewish pogroms. This is a story that must be acknowledged and must be repeated.

As my colleague from Mount Royal has said:

Where there is no remembrance, there is no truth; where there is no truth, there will be no justice; where there is no justice, there will be no reconciliation; and where there is no reconciliation, there will be no peace - which we all seek.

Questions Passed as Orders for Returns March 21st, 2011

With regard to federal funding for flood mitigation in Manitoba: (a) what flood mitigation and flood prevention programs has the government funded since 1996-1997, broken down by year; and (b) what is the government’s position concerning its role in responding to a future flood, including all aspects of coordination and cost-sharing with the Province of Manitoba?

Questions Passed as Orders for Returns March 21st, 2011

With regard to the government’s funding for crime prevention in Manitoba: (a) broken down by fiscal year since 2000-2001, what programs specifically directed at crime prevention has the government funded and what was the level of funding per program; (b) how many individuals participated in these programs, broken down by program and by year; (c) what is the formal position of the government concerning the role that crime prevention plays in reducing levels of gang violence and other types of crime; (d) what empirical evidence does the government have regarding the level of recidivism of individuals who have participated in crime prevention programs; and (e) what empirical evidence does the government have regarding the level of need for crime prevention programs?

Questions Passed as Orders for Returns March 21st, 2011

With regard to criminal law amendments contained in legislation introduced in the 40th Parliament, Third Session, namely Bill C-4, An Act to amend the Youth Criminal Justice Act and to make consequential and related amendments to other Acts, Bill C-16, An Act to amend the Criminal Code, Bill C-17, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (investigative hearing and recognizance with conditions), Bill C-21, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (sentencing for fraud), Bill C-23A, An Act to amend the Criminal Records Act, Bill C-23B, An Act to amend the Criminal Records Act and to make consequential amendments to other Acts, Bill C-30, An Act to amend the Criminal Code, Bill C-39, An Act to amend the Corrections and Conditional Release Act and to make consequential amendments to other Acts, Bill C-48, An Act to amend the Criminal Code and to make consequential amendments to the National Defence Act, Bill S-6, An Act to amend the Criminal Code and another Act, and Bill S-10, An Act to amend the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act and to make related and consequential amendments to other Acts: (a) was a gender-based analysis of the impacts of the proposed amendments undertaken before the legislation was introduced in Parliament; (b) if yes to question (a), (i) when was this analysis conducted, (ii) by whom was the analysis conducted, (iii) which indicators were used to determine the gender-based impact of the legislation, (iv) what was the conclusion of the analysis regarding the gender-based impacts of the proposed amendment; (c) if no to question (a), (i) does the government intend to undertake a gender-based analysis of the amendments, (ii) when will this analysis take place; and (d) did the Treasury Board Secretariat require that a gender-based analysis of the legislation be completed before the bill was introduced in Parliament?

Income Tax Act March 21st, 2011

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-641, An Act to amend the Income Tax Act (death benefit).

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to introduce this bill today in the House and I thank my colleague from Cape Breton—Canso for seconding it.

The bill would eliminate income tax payable on a death benefit received under the Canada pension plan. I have heard from many constituents of the heavy burden that funeral costs place on their families and of their surprise when they find out that they must pay income tax on the $2,500 Canada pension plan death benefit.

In some cases, receiving this benefit can have disastrous financial implications, not only reducing the amount available to help with the funeral costs but pushing a beneficiary's income into a higher tax bracket or reducing eligibility for social assistance or the GST/HST tax credit. Making the CPP death benefit tax free is the right thing to do and the fair thing to do to support families as they mourn the loss of a loved one, and ensure that there is no financial penalty for receiving this payment.

(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)

International Women's Day March 8th, 2011

Mr. Speaker, I thank the Minister for Status of Women for her statement and for the opportunity to offer some words of my own on behalf of the Liberal Party.

2011 marks the 100th year of International Women's Day, an event that is being marked in communities and in schools across Canada.

Women in Canada and around the world have gained much over the last 100 years, the right to vote, to work, to equal participation in government.

It is a testament to the women who came before, in civil society, this House and in the Senate, that I rise today to reply to a statement by a female cabinet member responsible for the status of women.

International Women's Day is an opportunity to celebrate these achievements, but also to reflect on how far we have to go and must go to achieve full gender equality and eradicate gender discrimination in its entirety.

Here in Parliament, less than 25% of members are women. Increasing women's participation in this important role would have an impact on how young women perceive themselves as well as on their country and the world.

Women in Canada also continue to earn, on average, less than men. Despite high educational attainment, this wage gap remains a reminder that we must provide the range of supports necessary so that women can enjoy full participation in our political and economic life.

While I share the minister's enthusiasm for the great potential of our young women and girls, I believe that this potential will never be fully realized and the wage gap never fully closed if these supports do not exist. The need for affordable, accessible child care remains great, and Canada has yet to adequately meet this challenge. The need for a national housing strategy is also urgent.

I would encourage the government to respond to the unanimous will of this House and implement a national violence against women prevention strategy. There is also an urgent need for a national action plan on human trafficking so that Canada's efforts in this area are comprehensive, coordinated and effective.

I recently attended the 55th session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women. While there I heard a vision of a world “where women and men have equal rights and opportunities, and the principles of gender equality and women's empowerment are firmly integrated into the development, human rights, and peace and security agendas”.

We have already done much in Canada to promote these rights and provide these opportunities for women at home and abroad, but much remains to be done.

We in this House have both the mandate and the enormous responsibility to ensure that gender equality and equality of opportunity are real, so that women's potential and women's creativity can be fully embraced for a better future for all of us.

International Women's Day March 8th, 2011

Mr. Speaker, today is the centenary of International Women's Day. What began as a struggle to achieve equality rights has become a celebration of the trail-blazing women who made our society more equal.

Today is no different. It is remarkable to see so many women pursuing non-traditional occupations, and to live in a time when young girls do not see barriers but only opportunities.

While we celebrate, let us also remember that the struggle for equality is not yet over. Over the past five years the fundamental human right to equal pay for work of equal value has been undermined. Federal support for advocacy and research into the status of women in Canada has been eliminated and the gender wage gap remains significant. The lack of access to quality, affordable early learning and child care services is a barrier to full equality.

I join my colleagues in the House in celebrating this anniversary but remain mindful of the challenges that remain.